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The Bitcoin was doing really strong against the dollar this week. Seeing as this doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon, it may be wise to invest in bitcoins. Luckily, the entry level for the currency is quite low and there’s really no lower limit to how much bitcoin you can begin with. Also, a quick google will bring up exhaustive guides on how to trade bitcoins. If you’re in Africa, here are a few places where you could buy bitcoins and get started:

International platforms

CoinMama

Coinmama offers more options when it comes to how to buy bitcoins off the platform. Aside from using credit cards, you can use Western Union money transfer as well as actual cash payments. This service is also currently available in South Africa.

BitX

BitX is a Singapore based company that serves Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. They charge a 1% taker’s fee on all trade transactions. The app has been praised for its simplicity and good design. It also provides an exchange (The BitX Exchange) which is a market platform where people can buy and sell bitcoins using local currency.

BTC-E

BTC-E was established in 2011 in the EU. You can buy bitcoins from anywhere in the world via wire transfer. That may be a bit stressful for most people but consider the positives. If you’re a frequent traveller to the UK, this works for you. It also has probably the cheapest service on this list – the company charges 0.2% per transaction.

Local Bitcoin exchanges

Ice3x

Ice3X is in South Africa and Nigeria. ICE3X allows users to buy and sell bitcoins using the local currency, i.e. Rand and Naira. It also offers users trading and market data from other leading exchanges globally, so customers are aware of movements in the market. They also offer the option to create a free wallet.

BitPesa

BitPesa was the first Bitcoin remittance service in Africa. Based in Nairobi, BitPesa eventually started providing trading services to users on the platform as well. The platform offers users the chance to buy and sell as much bitcoin as they desire, is quite fast and works on any smartphone or desktop computer. BitPesa charges a 3% transaction fee on any Bitcoin transactions through their website.

NairaEx

The BitStake website redirects here so I’m guessing this is the same service. This Nigerian company currently serves only Nigerians. Users are allowed to make transactions via bank transfers, Perfect Money and Web Money. There’s a 3% trading fee and NGN 100 ($.57) is deducted from orders below NGN 3,000 ($16).

If you’re looking to actively buy and sell bitcoins regularly to take advantage of the bitcoin price fluctuations, you may want to look into trading platforms such as Localbitcoins and Altcointrader. Localbitcoins in particular provides an escrow service which helps to curb fraudulent transactions.

Note that the bitcoin is still a relatively new currency and that novelty reflects in some of the problems the currency faces – it is still not yet universally recognised or accepted, insurance is dicy for exchanges, and bitcoin companies are still prone to hacks and scams, dying almost every other month.

Photo Credit: btckeychain via Compfight cc

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